Coolest Uses of Social Media

24 Aug 2009


So, we all know that social media is here to stay. Chances are, your company has a blog, a LinkedIn profile, and at least one employee whose day-to-day responsibilities include tweeting.

It wasn’t long ago that companies that leveraged Twitter and the like were viewed as cutting-edge. But today, social media marketing is a given. Now, it’s all about how you use social media – a blog just doesn’t cut it anymore. But, you also have to get creative and find the right balance: Savvy consumers will run screaming from your efforts if you come off as too salesy. For a successful social media campaign, you have to give them something – a nifty application, a contest, a way to connect, share opinions, and create content. And, most importantly, it has to be fun.

Need some inspiration? Here are four of my favorite creative social media ideas:

1. Mad Men Yourself. Love Mad Men as much as I do? AMC’s fun new application lets you create your own Mad Men-inspired avatar – use it on Facebook, Twitter, and more. I love the swingin’ retro graphics and nifty wardrobe choices.

2. The Twitter Opera. This is one of my favorites. London’s Royal Opera house is gearing up to perform a series of short operas – written entirely by participants’ Twitter messages. Anyone can contribute their ideas, and the more people who participate, the more interesting things get. So far, one of the operas includes a kidnapping-by-birds, a revenge plot, and a biochemistry lab.


3. “Learning to Love You More”: Part art exhibit, part online community. This website, created by artists Miranda July and Harrel Fletcher, posts “assignments” to the project’s site, things ranging from the serious (“Interview someone who has experienced war”) to the amusing (“Make a video of yourself lip-synching a Garth Brooks song”) to the odd (“Braid someone’s hair”). Participants complete the assignments and post documentation – usually in the form of still photography or video – to create an ever-changing, user-created work of art.

4. The Great Johnny Bunko Challenge. Author, blogger, and innovator Dan Pink ran a contest last year to promote his book, “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko,” “Bunko” is a Manga-inspired career-choice guide broken into six lessons. Pink invited his readers to come up with a seventh lesson – entries were posted on his blog and readers chose the winner (who, incidentally won a trip to a conference in Oxford, England).

And, if you’re still not convinced that social media is here to stay, check out this video from social media guru Erik Qualman:Social Media RevolutionSo, what do you think? Have any great concepts to add to the list? Any great social media success stories? Share with us – we love feedback!

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